Officials of the Department of Health and Human Services have long intended to issue this month a number of rules to implement major provisions of the HITECH Act within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Publication on Dec. 7 of HHS' semi-annual regulatory agenda shows the anticipated schedule hasn't changed.

The agenda also lists the dates for starting Medicare incentive programs as Oct. 1, 2010, for hospitals and Jan. 1, 2011, for physicians. This could be an indication that the start dates for incentives for the meaningful use of electronic health records are not slipping.

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